Diwali, a Hindu festival of Light and Wisdom, has been acknowledged as a holiday across the US State of Pennsylvania. A bill was officially introduced in a meeting held on April 27, 2023. Many Pennsylvanians are fond of this festival and often gather to commemorate the empowerment of light over darkness.
Diwali will now be celebrated across Pennsylvania state as a national holiday for all residents. The Senate voted for the same and this was informed by the assemblyman Nikil Saval as he tweeted on Thursday. Senator Nikil Saval also expressed gratitude towards Senator Greg Rothman.
The Senate voted unanimously to recognize Diwali as an official holiday! To all Pennsylvanians who celebrate this festival of light and connection: you are seen, you are welcome, you matter. Thank you, @rothman_greg, for the opportunity to join you in introducing this bill. 🪔🪔 pic.twitter.com/CU6mDb7dYk
— Senator Nikil Saval (@SenatorSaval)
April 26, 2023
It was announced on the famous content-producing site Twitter that Diwali will now be recognized by the US State. Mr Saval also wrote that everyone is invited and welcomed to join this festival observed annually. He further thanked Greg for giving him this opportunity to present and pass the important bill.
Pennsylvania Celebrating Ancient Religious Diversity
In February this year, the bill to make Diwali an official holiday was proposed by the US State of Pennsylvania’s representatives. For 2023, Diwali falls on November 12 and earlier, the schools, colleges and government offices did not remain shut for this auspicious day.
Truly humbled to have been the prime sponsor in the House for legislation recognizing Diwali, the Festival of Lights, in our state. I am privileged to represent the communities of the 30th District and to simultaneously be a voice for the South Asian community in Pennsylvania. pic.twitter.com/kXmqAsb26A
— Rep. Arvind Venkat (@RepVenkat)
April 27, 2023
But now the bill has been successfully passed and thousands of residents will now be able to celebrate the day from this year. It is a major step to elevating rich diversity across civilizations. Nowadays, we see many bhakts or ardent followers of Lord Shri Krishna, Lord Shiva and Lord Shri Ram in different parts of Earth.
The senators asserted that on Diwali, it is the time for inner reflection on the battle of light over darkness which offers purity, clarity and abundance of positivity surrounding the lives of all. This festival absolutely deserved official recognition as there are around 200,000 South Asian citizens living in Pennsylvania and most of them are involved in celebrations of Diwali.
How Diwali is celebrated around the world?
Diwali is regarded as a big cultural function for many around the globe. Although it mainly originates from Hindu or Sanatan Dharma, the celebration is seen in Sikh and Jain diaspora as well. In Sanskrit, it is revered as ‘Deepawali’ and the word Deepa literally means light or illumination.
On this very day, Lakshmi Pooja and offerings are observed by deities and people light up their homes and minds with positivity and joy. Apart from India, many nations mark the honouring of the festival of light including Myanmar, Fiji, Mauritius, Singapore, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Tobago, among others.
It is almost a 5-day celebration in which people make delicious food and sweets at home, dress themselves up with new ethnic attires, and celebrate happiness with fireworks, diyas and lamps. On Vijaya Dashmi, devotees recall Lord Ram’s victorious event of the killing of darkness and demon that resides inside a person. Lord Ram is the seventh incarnation of Vishnu, the Supreme Power.
The Ultimate Power of Diwali
Diwali symbolizes the spiritual winning of knowledge over ignorance and the constant clash between light and darkness. It signifies that no matter what, truth and positive aspects eradicate negativity and all evils from life when one is truly aligned with the inner self.
This festival is marked with rangoli, flower decoration and ritual holy baths often performed by Hindus. Every region or state across India varies in its traditions and customs that it follows. Diwali is a unique blend of prayers to Goddess Durga who brings wealth, purity and prosperity and highlights new beginnings.
It is undeniable that the divine powers are felt even today in Kali Yuga which is the age of darkness, strife, hostility, etc for a period of 4,32,000 years, according to the Hindu Mythology. Diwali repeatedly reminds humanity to carry out pious acts and hence stay away from sins and their consequences. Despite this, one might have lost the origins and the roots, recreation and purification can still happen.
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